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Issue 2, 2016
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Multi-step control over self-assembled hydrogels of peptide-derived building blocks and a polymeric cross-linker

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Abstract

We present a detailed study of self-assembled hydrogels of bundled and cross-linked networks consisting of positively charged amyloid-like nanofibers and a triblock copolymer with negatively charged end blocks as a cross-linker. In a first step small oligopeptides self-assemble into macrocycles which are held together by reversible disulfide bonds. Interactions between the peptides cause the macrocycles to assemble into nanofibers, which form a reversible hydrogel. The physical properties of the hydrogel are tuned using various methods such as control over the fibre length, addition of a cross-linking copolymer, and addition of salt. We establish a relationship between the bulk mechanical properties, the properties of the individual fibers and the hydrogel morphology using characterization techniques operating at different length scales such as rheology, atomic force microscopy (AFM) and cryo transmission electron microscopy (Cryo-TEM). This allows for a precise control of the elastic behaviour of these networks.

Graphical abstract: Multi-step control over self-assembled hydrogels of peptide-derived building blocks and a polymeric cross-linker

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Supplementary files

Article information


Submitted
20 Aug 2015
Accepted
12 Oct 2015
First published
12 Oct 2015

This article is Open Access

Soft Matter, 2016,12, 432-440
Article type
Paper

Multi-step control over self-assembled hydrogels of peptide-derived building blocks and a polymeric cross-linker

V. D. Nguyen, A. Pal, F. Snijkers, M. Colomb-Delsuc, G. Leonetti, S. Otto and J. van der Gucht, Soft Matter, 2016, 12, 432 DOI: 10.1039/C5SM02088C

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